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Men’s Soccer Prepares for Bradley, Eastern Illinois 10/4/02

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt men’s soccer team kicks off the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference portion of its schedule at 8 p.m. Friday against No. 10-ranked Bradley at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The Commodores concluded their weekend home tilt against Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Despite its 2-7 record, Vanderbilt has continued to show improvement in each its games. Last Sunday, Vanderbilt fell behind 2-0 to Memphis before storming back to tie the game at 2-2. Unfortunately, the Tigers scored a goal in the 75th minute to end the Commodores chances at a come-from-behind win.

Forward Nik DeMello and midfielder Jack Hartley have been hot as of late for the Commodores. DeMello and Hartley have combined for six goals and three assists this season, but last weekend against Lipscomb and Memphis the two combined for all four goals.

Bradley is off to a quick start this season, as it comes into Friday evening’s game with an 8-0-2 record. One of the Braves’ highlights was their 3-2 win over No. 5-ranked Notre Dame back on September 19. Despite Bradley’s success early on this season, it has always struggled against the Commodores. Of all the teams in the MVC, Vanderbilt owns the best winning percentage against Bradley (.833), as it has defeated the Braves five out of six times.

If the Commodores are going to be successful, they will have to find a way to shutdown the Braves’ defense, which has scored 28 goals in 10 games this season.

Eastern Illinois is a team Vanderbilt head coach Tim McClements is quite familiar with. McClements spent four years at Eastern Illinois as head coach before leaving to take an assistant coaching position at Southern Methodist. While at EIU, McClements helped turn the men’s soccer program around and make it a serious threat in the MVC. Vanderbilt leads the all-time series with EIU 4-2; however, the Panthers have won the last two meetings.

Now under the guidance of head coach of Adam Howarth, the Panthers are looking to continue the success they had in the past. EIU enters this weekend’s games with an overall record of 4-5, and are coming off a difficult 4-0 loss at St. Louis. The Panthers are already familiar with the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex, as they played earlier this season in the Vanderbilt/Puma Soccer Classic.

For Vanderbilt to have an opportunity to win, it will have to stop forward Jason Thompson and midfielder Jimmy Klatter, who have combined to score 15 goals this season.

Scouting the Braves

Bradley enters Friday night’s contest with its best record to begin a season since the 1998 season when it began 7-0-2. Back in 1998, the Braves undefeated streak came to an end when they were defeated 1-0 by the Commodores in Nashville.

Head coach Jim DeRose has this year’s squad working on all cylinders. What has made the Braves so dangerous this season has been their ability to get points from pretty much anyone who steps on the field. Midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer and forward Joe Ducci are Bradley’s top two point scorers; however, in there 10 games this season they combined to start only 11 games. Both players have scored four goals and tallied two assists for a total of 10 points, while mostly coming off the bench for DeRose’s squad.

Another dangerous aspect of Bradley’s team is its depth. A total of 19 players have at least registered one point and of those players, 10 of them have recorded four points or more. DeRose has tinkered with the line-up the entire season, as only five players have started and played in 10 games. As a whole, Bradley’s offense has scored 28 goals and registered 26 assists for 82 points.

On the other side of the field, the Braves’ defense has been rock solid. While their offense has totaled 82 points, their defense has surrendered a mere 15 points on five goals and five assists. Senior defender Tim Regan has been the anchor on the defensive side to DeRose. Regan has started and played in nine games this season, and has been called upon the mark the Braves’ opponents top offensive player.

Goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath has been a brick wall this season for Bradley. The redshirt freshman, who stands at 6-4, has played every single minute this season. Dunsheath has relinquished an incredible 0.48 goals against average, while allowing only five goals. Another incredible statistics is his six shutouts he has recorded, which is tops in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Scouting the Panthers

Eastern Illinois enters Sunday’s game with one of the top offensive players in the nation in senior forward Jason Thompson. After a slow start to the 2002 season, the senior has gotten back on track offensively. Thompson has tallied 10 goals for 20 points this season, while also leading the team with 39 shots.

Thompson’s presence on the field has made opposing defenses focus all of their energy on him, which has allowed other players to step up. Freshman midfielder Jimmy Klatter is second on the team with five goals, but leads the team with four assists. Both Thompson and Klatter have two game-winning goals apiece.

Goalkeeper Ryan Eames has been solid in net for head coach Adam Howarth. In a little under 800 minutes of action, Eames has allowed 1.70 goals per game, while recording 54 saves.

 


 







 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)